I was so excited to be out of school for ten days, allowing me to read books of my choosing rather than something from a list, that I instantly picked up Life's Greatest Trip, by Arthur Blessit. Like,
Well no, instead I read several bitchfests by gay blade Gore Vidal, who talked about things like how fat and nasty Anthony Burgess' wife was, and how Burgess' eyes looked like "infected buttonholes." I flipped the mental rolodex until I found the Cavett/Burgess interview from the early 70s. He is definitely right. Vidal is a genius at snarkery so subtle that most people wouldn't notice to take offense. This must have been an evolved survival tactic, because he routinely says such horrible things to and about people that anything less than ultra-subtlety would have resulted in many an altercation, I am sure.
Worth watching is the Mailer/Vidal battle on Dick's show. Mailer loses, but I think I read somewhere that he was drunk at the time and therefore not as prepared for the quiet savagery of being attacked by GV.
Dick's memory of this night is recounted here: In This Corner, Norman Mailer